Black and white political cartoon showing President Taft as overweight.

The Weight of the Presidency

In early January, President Trump had a physical exam at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a periodic rite for US presidents in the modern era. The results were made public a few days later, with fevered public interest from popular media and television commentators. Was the President, with a height/weight ratio that put his BMI… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Selling American vigor. Every president’s health ranked. Slavery and the American university. How Americans preserved British English. Audio love letters were hot in the 30s and 40s. The oldest known valentine was written in prison. News Flash: History is not just for straight people…. Read more →

Medicina/Medicine: A Special Nursing Clio Series on Latin America and the Caribbean

When I started writing for Nursing Clio in late 2014, I was excited to bring a Latin American focus to the blog. Since then, I’ve written about the history of gender, medicine, and race in the region with an emphasis on Brazil. I’ve tested out new research ideas, polished old ones, and ranted about things… Read more →

More Recent Articles

Gender, Health, & Marginalization: National Responses to HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and Jamaica

After conducting Fulbright research on the cultural politics of HIV/AIDS in Jamaican women’s lives, I became interested in exploring how Afro-diasporic women matter in responses to the pandemic. This interest grew alongside both my personal experiences as an HIV tester in Detroit and my exploration of the global dilemmas surrounding sexual and reproductive health. The… Read more →

Explicit: Censorship, Sexology, and Sexuality in Independent Ireland

When the Irish Free State created the Censorship of Publications Board in 1929, they were arguably asserting their independence.1 By taking control of information, and defining standards of morality and decency through banned literature, censorship was in fact a rejection of colonial rule. Much of the independent Irish identity hinged on a sense of moral… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Treating the influenza in 1918-9. The Jimmy Carter rabbit incident. This picture will make you nostalgic. A history of military parades in the US. The rich cultural history of nameplate jewelry. How to have a historically accurate lover’s tiff. The complicated history of race… Read more →

Illustrated portrait of Thomas Hamblin, depicting a middle-aged man with curly hair, with his name in script font underneath.

“Instruction which she should avoid”: Reflections on 1830s Theater Manager Thomas Hamblin in the #MeToo Era

In June 1838, actress Josephine Clifton canceled an engagement in Lexington, KY and rushed back to New York “in a state of mind bordering on distraction.”1 Her sixteen-year-old sister Louisa Missouri Miller, who had recently debuted on the same New York Bowery stage where Clifton’s own career began, was dead, as the coroner later determined,… Read more →

A lithograph of a man grabbing a woman by the waist while she tries to move away from him and pushes him off her. A dog bites his satchel.

“There Had Been No Penetration:” Male Surgeons’ Roles in Defining Rape in Eighteenth-Century England

In July of 1715, when Mary Marsh was asked about the details of her rape, she claimed that “the Prisoner threw her upon the Bed, press’d her very hard, and put something into her, but was so modest she would not declare what.”1 When two medical surgeons “depos’d that there had been no penetration,” William… Read more →